Yesterday, private utility ComEd announced the completion of a 189,000-square-foot, 30-megawatt data center facility in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, constructed to meet the region’s increasing commercial data needs. The project is a new joint venture between national data center provider Skybox Datacenters and Prologis Inc, the global leader in logistics real estate.
ComEd stated that the data center is capable of being fueled by “clean, reliable and affordable energy” supplied by the electricity provider along with the Illinois competitive energy market.
Over the past year alone, ComEd helped bring six new data centers to northern Illinois, generating more than $2 billion in investment and hundreds of projected construction jobs. Commenting on their recent work, ComEd CEO Gil Quiniones said,
“ComEd is proud to electrify new data centers throughout the region which create jobs and generate investment for the communities we serve. With their first Illinois data center, Skybox is the latest example of companies investing in Northern Illinois due to affordable rates, access to clean energy, and unparalleled reliability.”
Data center development in Illinois has seen record growth in the past couple of years, driven in part by competitive energy costs and a new data center tax incentive program offered by the state government. A recent report by Cushman & Wakefield found Chicago ranks second in the world for data centers based on the current real estate market conditions, the digital ecosystem, sustainability, and the conducive regulatory environment.
Data centers are one of the most energy-intensive building types, consuming 10 to 50 times the energy per floor space of a typical commercial office building. They account for approximately 2% of America’s energy consumption, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. This number is expected to grow in tandem with America’s increasing use of information technology. To reduce energy consumption by data centers, the office recommends designing efficient new data centers, making efficiency upgrades on existing data centers, and purchasing energy efficient data servers. The office provides resources to help data centers learn how others saved energy in their data centers and recommends finding a qualified data center energy efficiency professional to help with the process.
Energy efficient data centers are on the rise: according to a Research & Markets report from last October, the sector is expected to reach a market value of almost $182 billion by 2026, up from $53.19 billion in 2020. Authors cite growing energy consumption by data centers and increasing government regulation on energy use as factors in market growth. While initial investments are costly, they are reportedly offset by savings in reduced energy consumption and cooling needs.